Eighteen months ago, I wrote the original “10 Ways to Fall Off a Horse“, which proved to be ridiculously popular for the simple reason that pain is hilarious.
However, in the year and a half since writing that post, I have tried out several other methods of eating dust and hence the list needs an extension. So without further ado, 10 new ways to fall off a horse, with maximum pain, precision, and extra helpings of embarrassment.
1. Have trouble jumping a relatively small double with your favouritest pony stallion ever. Eventually the Horse Mutterer charges in and orders you to do it properly this time. Fumble the first element, plant hands on pony’s neck for balance, and fall off when pony stops. Bonus points if you land in the six inches of open space between the pony and the jump.
2. When practicing Western mounted games, decide to give the keyhole a shot. Mess up several times before your horse suddenly gets the idea, slides to a halt, spins around and shoots off for the timeline. Unfortunately, you simply continue going in a straight line and plough into the dirt. Bonus points if the horse gallops over the timeline and then stops, looks around in puzzlement, and starts heading back towards you demanding why you departed.
3. Ride a young mare that’s just been backed. She’s not in the greatest mood, so when you ask her to halt, she rears. Be totally unprepared for this and slide off backwards, landing on your feet directly behind her bottom with the reins still in your hands. Bonus points if it takes the shocked Mutterer several minutes to catch up with events and ask, “Hey, are you okay?”
4. Get sick. Take antibiotics. Go to work. Have an allergic reaction to the aforementioned antibiotics and faint under your horse’s feet before you can even climb on. Bonus points if the Mutterer, whilst scraping you off the floor, quips, “You’re getting seriously talented. You can fall off a horse without being on it in the first place.”
5. Ride a beautiful, smart, slightly absentminded four-year-old horse in front of his owner, his owner’s mom, his owner’s sister, and your instructor. Ask him to canter whilst going round a corner, forgetting to get his attention first. The horse obliges but his legs go in different directions, cross, and trip him up. He lands on his knees and you land on your face. Bonus points if you had an identical fall off the same horse two years ago.
6. Saddle up and get onto a gorgeous 16.2hh imported warmblood stallion while his owner and the Mutterer are watching. Ask him to walk on. Cling on for dear life as he proceeds to rear and spin around simultaneously multiple times; eventually fly off over his hip and eat dirt after the third rear. Bonus points if the Mutterer says, “Well done!” with no trace of sarcasm. (I’m still not sure what for).
7. Tell the owner that the mare is getting a bit on the pregnant side for riding. Heed the owner and ride her anyway with the owner watching. She says that she doesn’t feel like riding because she is pregnant. You ignore her and ask her to canter anyway. She says that she DOESN’T FEEL LIKE RIDING and removes you with just one buck. Bonus points if the owner doesn’t notice.
8. Your mom’s friend enjoys watching you ride, so she comes over to watch you working a horse that your mom wants to buy. He is a lovely, solid, gentlemanly guy and you trust him a little bit too much. Approach a jump too fast, cease concentrating, and shoot up his neck when he stops. Shocked by this monkey attacking his ears, he ducks out from under you. Faceplant on the jump. Bonus points if you bleed spectacularly. Extra bonus points to the horse if your mom buys him anyway.
9. Go on a hack with a young mare that was abused in her past, accompanying a fairly novice client on a quiet-natured stallion you love, and a fairly relaxed client on a Friesian. All goes well until you turn for home and they both let their horses run away with them. Your horse loses her mind, dumps you in the dirt and bolts off down the main road, expensive dressage saddle and valuable unborn foal in tow. Bonus points if the farrier comes to rescue you before you walk all the way home. More bonus points if you’re covered in dirt and soot and have to go to art class directly thereafter.
And the ultimate fall of all time:
10. Go to a Western mounted games clinic on a wonderful little mare (the first time you ever take a client’s horse to an outing). She goes absolutely wonderfully. The last item is your favourite – barrel racing. Unfortunately, there is only one arena being used both for the patterns and for warming up, divided by the timeline. Noticing that one of the riders has extremely limited control over his zoomy horse, you park in a corner of the arena while he takes his turn, figuring that if you stand still he’ll see you and hopefully avoid you. You are wrong. He comes blasting over the timeline at a ridiculous speed, sees you at the last second and yanks his horse’s head around. The horse cannot possibly see where he is going and smashes into you at a full gallop. Horses and riders tumble over each other and all end up lying on the ground. This fall has so many bonus points it’s hard to list them: The other rider runs away to catch his horse before you can hit him (a wise move). Once the Mutterer has retrieved your horse and failed to persuade you not to ride again, you remount, to applause from 100% of the spectators. The other guy remounts to perfect silence. The Mutterer manages not to kill the other guy but pointedly never takes you to games again.